Woohoo it's P-day! We were allowed to send you a letter our first night here but I figured this email would reach you sooner than the letter. Well to start out, let's just say Heavenly Father either has a great sense of humor or is chastising me for being so lazy the past couple of months. Or He has way too much faith in me. Here's why: My first day here, my host (the sister who showed me around and took me to my class) told me that my class would be entirely in my language and to not stress about it, it would be fine. Well when I got into my class, it was all in English! I talked to my teacher about it and here's the deal. since I already know Japanese, I'm in the international district/fast track program. Which means I will be here for 12 days and all of my class will be in ENGLISH. Trust me, I was in shock. Then I laughed. And then I freaked out. So basically this means that everything I need to know about the gospel in Japanese I will be learning on my own. Or by immersion once I get to Japan...IT'S NUTS. But it's also really cool because we have a very diverse district and zone. We have people going Chinese, Spanish, French, and English speaking. Luckily, there are 3 other sisters who are also going to Japan so we'll practice teaching them.
I'm in a threesome and I was assigned to be senior companion yesterday. Sister F is from Samoa and is very cheerful. she will be serving in California. I have a hard time understanding her so there's a lot of nodding and mhmm-ing. My other companion, Sister S is from Tokyo and is in the same boat as me. Her Japanese is informal and doesn't know a lot of church tango. She's hilarious and we get along really great. She's also going to Sapporo so hopefully we'll be buddies on the flight to Japan.
The past two days have been crazy. Once I got over the initial shock of having all of my classes in English (and recognized that this is how Heavenly Father has planned things), it got a lot better. I have great teachers and my zone is fun. Every minute of our day is planned and I'm trying not to waste a minute of it. Since I'm going to be here for so little time, I want to take advantage of the strong spirit that is here and learn as much as I possibly can. We met our branch presidency last night and they seem like wonderful people. Our branch president was pretty intimidating but I know what he says and does is out of love and his desire for us to be the best missionaries we can possibly be.
The Mormon rumor mill is at it once again because most of what I heard about the MTC isn't true. There are about 2400 missionaries here right now, not 3,000. The lines for food and bathrooms aren't bad at all. And we only have 3 sisters in our room when there's room for 4! The food here is typical cafeteria food. It's not terrible, some of it is even kind of good. But I think that just goes to show that my standards for food are low haha. I might even actually lose weight while I'm here since I've been eating salad and a ton of fruit ha. There aren't more sisters than elders but they did say it's 50/50. Since today is P-day, we got to go to the temple, which was really great. It was really crowded and it's incredible to think that it's most likely always that crowded. We only have 30 min to email so if there are typos, oops. We also have time to write letters today and do laundry. Most of our errands consist of going to the bookstore for little things so we won't be doing a lot of that.
It's only been 2 ish days but I've already learned quite a bit about myself. I've always taken for granted "divide and conquer." Now that I (we) can't do it, it's really frustrating. Especially when one sister is taking her time. But that's okay, because it's teaching me patience and more love. I've also learned that I really like being independent (surprise surprise). Another thing is that I am here to work. There are a lot of wampaku missionaries who don't seem to take rules seriously and that bothers me a lot more than I ever thought it would. Being senior comp makes me want to be the best missionary I can be and set the example so yes, I'm going to follow every rule. I'm here to do the Lord's work, why would I waste it being disobedient and deny myself those blessings? I've also realized that Heavenly Father is very quick to remind me to be humble. Very quick.
Quick funny story before I wrap up. Sister S and I were walking side by side and some missionary said hello to us in Korean haha. Sister S looked back at him and said "What?" I couldn't stop laughing (don't worry I kept it under control). Another funny story: there was an elder here a few weeks ago who gained 39 lbs during his stay here at the MTC. I didn't really believe that that could happen until I was in the cafeteria and there are quite a few elders with multiple plates and mounds of food. I will not be gaining any weight here thankyouverymuch.
I've learned so much about the gospel but mostly, that I've got so much to learn. I love this gospel and the happiness it brings to people in all walks of life. It's for everyone, whether they realize it or not. I love it here and although I love you all, I don't miss being away from home. THIS is where I'm supposed to be and I'm so grateful to be here. It's an incredible time to be a part of the Lord's work and I'm humbled that I get to be a part of it as well. I'm happy and well, but very tired. Thank you for your support! Love you!!
ps. if you want to send me letters, use dearelder.com. they print it off and give it to us the next day, so its way faster than snail mail.